Kami Westhoff The 2River View, 8.3 (Spring 2004)
Still Dying

She takes me
to a house where a woman plants
sycamore seeds under the window. An acacia flowers tight
white and yellow next to my bed.

She leaves to write a new story—a young girl in love
with the pale face, crimsoned lips, hot crisp of consumption.

Under the softness of pain
killers, I create a memory:

Her lying
behind me, wrist pulsing
against my stomach.
Her hair
grows a hundred years in
one night, covers my body,
becomes my skin.

The bed she made is covered with a blanket of fall. Leaves burn then ash
while I sleep. When I wake the sycamores are tall and bare. Her story
now a novel on the pillow
beside me.

She reads my tarot, tells me it was a girlchild, to be
born under my sign. She watches my eyes for regret. But I only
consider her crumpling the paper sheet, fingers touching tiny bits
of me still dying.

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